Daily Archives: 08/01/2016

Brave New World (aka new UK alcohol guidelines January 2016) updated

brave new worldSo today we have the start of a brave new world as the new UK drinking guidelines have been released by Dame Sally Davies the UK Chief Medical Officer.   The quote to the left is taken from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley a book I received as a Christmas present & read over the New Year.

It really resonated with me because it sums up so perfectly the difference between my life drinking and sober.  I am happier than I have ever been but my life now looks calm and pedestrian when compared to the excitement, read chaos, of my drinking days …….  Looks can be very deceiving 🙂

People will rail against the new guidelines – the old me would have done too – but the tide is turning on booze or soma, as the substance was called in Brave New World 😉

CMO guidelines

There will no doubt be many pages of print & text written about this issue over the next few weeks & I will do my best to update!

Further coverage:

Alcohol limits cut to reduce health risks (BBC)
New alcohol guidelines: What you need to know (BBC)
The new drinking guidelines are hyperbolic and puritan (Telegraph)
How do the UK’s new alcohol guidelines compare with the rest of the world’s? (Guardian Datablog)
‘I’d drink a bottle of gin on a Saturday night’ – our readers on giving up alcohol (Guardian)
Will alcohol advice help us beat the demon drink? (BBC)
Dr Ruth Hussey: New guidelines to help alcohol ‘rethink’ (BBC)
New alcohol advice issued (NHS Direct: Behind the Headlines)
Drinkers in pub react to new alcohol limit recommendations (BBC)
Mapped: The bingeing regions furthest from the new alcohol guidelines (Telegraph)
Don’t let the public health zealots demonise us innocent drinkers (Telegraph)
The new alcohol limits are a smokescreen for governmental inaction (Guardian)
What would Britain be without drink? (Guardian Opinion)
Landlords appeal to regulars: carry on drinking … (Guardian)
Could new alcohol limit guidelines reform “normal” drinking? (Nursing Times)
David Cameron reveals he ‘often’ drinks alcohol after work (Telegraph)
In response to the new alcohol guidelines (CRI Blog)
Are the government’s new alcohol guidelines an assault on freedom? Just ask John Stuart Mill (The Conversation)
It’s official: guys can’t drink more than girls (Loaded)
In defence of alcohol guidelines

The last week or so has seen some pretty strong debate around the proposed alcohol guidelines published by the Chief Medical Officer.  I’d sort of assumed that, like many news events, this debate would be replaced by another issue after a day or so, but in fact a letters debate was still being printed in The Guardian on Thursday 14th January – almost a week after the guidelines came out | Thinking to some purpose blog, UK

This opinion piece rankled my ire!

The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits (Guardian)

The state would happily butt out of people’s drinking habits Simon if the NHS didn’t have to pick up the pieces and the cost!!

And this one triggered anger ….

Why those killjoy new alcohol rules are just plain wrong: A devastating critique by an award-winning writer on how alcohol affects our health (Daily Mail)

An important question to ask of this supposedly devastating critique of the new alcohol guidelines is: who paid this journalist to write this??  They are not a medic or public health professional and are calling into question the Chief Medical Officer and all those qualified medical and public health professionals who provided advice and guidance to her during their development.  I’d prioritise the opinion of them and Professor Nick Sheron over a writer (award winning or not) any day of the week!

What are your thoughts about them?

Oh and this flippancy from the drinks industry 🙁

informed decision







And rather than finish with a tune I thought I’d finish with a Radio 4 You and Yours call in that aired last week and some photographic art 🙂

This week England’s chief medical officer will issue new advice on healthy drinking limits. Dame Sally Davies is expected to recommend abstaining from alcohol for at least two days a week. And the daily maximum intake for men could also be cut to the same as for women.

Call You and Yours: Are you drinking more than you should?

New Year mayhem art‘Like a beautiful painting’: image of New Year’s mayhem in Manchester goes viral

A photograph depicting New Year’s Eve celebrations gone awry in central Manchester has been compared to a Renaissance masterpiece.

Plus if you are in the UK and missed the film Amy (about Amy Winehouse) while it was out at the cinema last year it’s on tonight at 9pm on C4.  I’ve been told to have a box of tissues to hand!

Safeguarding in Treatment Services: Everyone’s Business

Following on from yesterday’s post about children and young people living with family members with alcohol and drug addiction, I tentatively present the conference at which that resource was launched.

help me understandMy approach is tentative because I know what an emotive subject this is and how conflicted I myself become when I start to even think about writing a post about it.  Why?  Because I am a healthcare professional that has a children’s safeguarding role and therefore a duty of care AND I’m a parent who used to drink abusively around her children.  One of the reasons I stopped was because when I started working solely with children and adolescents and their families my own hypocrisy around alcohol became very clear.  Do as I say not as I do does not sit well with me …….

So here are the resources from that conference for your information should you be interested:

Safeguarding in Treatment Services; Everybody’s Business

Adfam and DDN Conference – Birmingham, 10 November 2015. The day told on Storify | Adfam, DDN, UK

And access to the presentations from that day are here:

Safeguarding conference

It’s important to speak about this otherwise children and young people don’t have a voice – like this one:

How my famous jockey dad died from alcoholism

Natasha Eddery-Dunsdon says she knew deep down all her life that her dad liked to drink | BBC Newsbeat. [See also‘My father suffered from a horrendous disease’ BBC radio iPlayer]

None of this is written in judgement of those who are reading this and have children and are continuing to drink abusively as I know how hard it is to break an addiction.  But I would ask, please seek help whether via your GP, local drug and alcohol service, private counsellor (specialising in alcohol addiction), AA, Smart Recovery,  or contact me and I will do my very best to signpost and support you.  Whatever works for you and your children.